Wednesday, 24 September 2014
SEASIDE TRIP FOR ENFIELD TOWN ON SATURDAY
They are nick-named The Sports as they were formed as Langley FC (in 1964) and then changed names to Langley Sports in 1968. They were renamed Eastbourne Borough in 2001 to reflect the town they represented. The clubs rise up the pyramid was a rapid one and really began in 1999 when Garry Wilson (now currently manager of Ryman Premier Division side and local Sussex rival's Lewes) took over as manager of the then Sussex County League side. In his first season they emphatically won the league title losing only one game in thirty-eight gaining promotion to the Southern League. Division One of the Sussex County League for that season also included Eastbourne Town and Eastbourne United as well as Whitehawk who finished in eleventh place. 2002/03 saw the club promoted from the Southern League Division One (East) after finishing runner's up to Dorchester Town on goal difference and after ended the 03/04 season in eleventh place of the Premier Division they started the 04/05 campaign as part of the newly formed Conference South division finishing fifth and winning the play-off final against Cambridge City. They then lost out to Altrincham in the North/South play off at Stoke City. In 2007/08 the club's dream was achieved as they were promoted to non-league's top division less than a decade after leaving the Sussex County League. They finished runner's up to Lewes but won the play-off final against Hampton and Richmond Borough on a memorable afternoon at Stevenage's Broadhall Way. The club played in the Conference National for three season's finishing 13th, 19th and then 23rd where they were relegated back to the Conference South where they have finished 18th, 12th and 10th last season.
They have performed well in the FA Cup in recent times reaching the First Round Proper in 2005 (lost to Oxford United in a replay), 2007 (lost to Weymouth) and 2008 (lost in a replay to Barrow). They have also lost to Ryman League side's Tooting and Mitcham in 2009, Harrow Borough in 2010, East Thurrock United in 2011 and Hendon in 2012. In last season's competition they were knocked out by Ebbsfleet United at the Third Qualifying Round stage.
WHO'S WHO AT PRIORY LANE?
Tommy Widdrington - Has been manager of The Sports since February 2012. Represented Southampton, Wigan Athletic, Grimsby Town, Port Vale, Macclesfield Town and Hartlepool United in the football league before ending his playing career with non-league Salisbury City where he took over as manager in 2009. He left Salisbury City in 2010 as the club were suffering from financial problems and was Assistant to Paul Sturrock at Southend United for a short period before taking over as boss of Hemel Hempstead Town in October 2011. He moved to Priory Lane in February 2012. There is an Enfield Town connection here as one of his first signings for Borough was ex Towner Ellis Remy whom he took from Hemel. Remy went on to play twenty times on the south coast scoring three times. Widdrington took over in the hot seat from club legend Garry Wilson.
Lewis Carey - Former Bristol City youth goalkeeper who spent time on loan at Weston-Super-Mare whilst at Ashton Gate. Played for Bromley and Tonbridge Angels in the Conference South last season.
Marvin Hamilton - Born in Leytonstone. Started his career in 2007 in the football league with Gillingham where he made fifteen appearances before joining Dover Athletic for a short spell in 2008. He then spent time with Cypriot side APEP Pitsilia before representing Hemel Hempstead Town for a short period. Joined Eastbourne Borough in February 2012 and aside from a short spell in Australia for Brisbane Premier League side Albany Creek Excelsior has played for the club ever since.
Sam Beale - Left Back who was released by Brentford in the summer. Played for Northwood on loan last season.
Matt Aldred - Playing for his home town club. Matt has also represented Loughborough University. Has a twin brother James who currently played for the Metropolitan Police in the Ryman Premier League. James was an unused substitute in the game versus Enfield Town on Tuesday 9th September.
Ian Simpemba - Born in Dublin. Tall (6ft 2inch) defender who played in the football league with Wycombe Wanderers in 2002/03 and 03/04. Since then has played for Woking, Crawley Town, Aldershot Town, Lewes, Havant and Waterlooville, Ebbsfleet United and Dover Athletic. Joined Borough in September 2013. Club Captain.
Adam Watts - Born in Hackney. Began his career as a youth team player and then professional in 2007 with Fulham. He didn't make a first team appearance at Craven Cottage but did spend some time out on loan at MK Dons and Northampton Town. Joined Lincoln City in October 2009 where he went on to make 77 appearances for the then football league side. Joined Conference North side Gainsborough Trinity in January 2012 and was in the side which lost the play off final to Nuneaton Town. Joined Eastbourne Borough in October 2012.
Gavin McCallum - Born in Mississauga, Canada and has represented his country at u20 level four times and once as a full international where he scored in a 1-1 draw against Venezuela in 2010. Can play on the wing or as a striker. Started his career with Yeovil Town in 2005 where it never really worked out for him making only one appearance. He spent time on loan with Tamworth, Dorchester Town and Crawley Town whilst at Huish Park. Has since played for Weymouth, Havant and Waterlooville, Sutton United, Hereford United, Lincoln City (at the same time as Watts where he played in the football league), Barnet, Woking, Sutton United and Tonbridge Angels. Joined Eastbourne Borough in June 2014.
Dean Sinclair - Born in St Albans. Midfielder. Came through the youth system at Norwich City but struggled to make an impact as a professional at Carrow Road. He joined Barnet in 2004 and made 125 appearance for The Bees before moving to Charlton Athletic where it unfortunately never worked out for him. He played on loan for Cheltenham Town, Grimsby Town and Barnet during his stay at The Valley and has since clocked up many miles playing for Cambridge United, Arlesey Town, Hayes and Yeading, Lowestoft Town, Woking and Sutton United. Was a Conference winner whilst at Underhill in 2005 where he also was capped for the England C team five times scoring one goal.
Richard Pacquette - Another player to have clocked up some miles and clubs during his football career. He was born in Kilburn and started in the football league with Queens Park Rangers in 2000. He made 31 appearances for The R's and also played on loan at Stevenage Borough, Dagenham & Redbridge and Mansfield Town before moving to MK Dons in 2004. Since then he has represented Fisher Athletic, Brentford, Farnborugh Town, Stevenage Borough, St Albans City, Hemel Hempstead Town, Hampton and Richmond Borough, Worthing, Thurrock, Havant and Waterlooville, Maidenhead United, Histon, York City, Eastbourne Borough, Hayes and Yeading, Maidenhead United, Lincoln City, Bromley, Eastleigh, Sutton United and Maidenhead United again before rejoining Eastbourne Borough this summer. Has two full international caps for Dominica. Pacquette is the cousin of another well travelled striker (well over 20 clubs) in Jefferson Louis who is currently plying his trade in the Conference North with Lowestoft Town.
Elliott Charles - Born in Enfield in 1990 and started his footballing career with Barnet in 2008 after scoring goals in the youth system for The Bees. Went on to have loan spells at Farnborough, Lewes, Hemel Hempstead Town, Ebbsfleet United and Havant & Waterlooville before moving to Kettering Town, Dover Athletic, Concord Rangers, Hendon and Eastbourne Borough in 2012. Spent the 2013/14 season back with Dover Athletic before recently re-joining Borough in the summer. Has two full International caps for Grenada.
Jay Lovett - Highly experienced 36 year old defender who was born in Brighton. Started out for football league side Plymouth Argyle in 1995 but failed to make a first team appearance so moved back to Sussex to play for Saltdean United in 1997/98 before moving to Crawley Town for the 1998/99 campaign. Spent two seasons with Crawley before Brentford paid a then club record fee of £75,000 in July 2000. Played 28 times for Brentford but was loaned back to Crawley Town, Hereford United and Gravesend and Northfleet during his stay at Griffin Park. Joined Farnborugh Town in 2003 and then went on to play for Lewes (98 appearances), Aldershot Town, Eastbourne Borough (first spell at the club where he made 149 times), Whitehawk, Horsham, Tooting and Mitcham United and the Metropolitan Police. Rejoined Eastbourne in the summer.
Lloyd Foot - A product of the successful youth academy at Southampton where he captained teams containing Luke Shaw, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Calum Chambers and James Ward-Prowse. He was released from St Marys in 2011 when he was 18 years old. He scored 18 goals for Andover Town in the 2013/14 Wessex League (he's a centre back!!). Was with Sutton United for a short spell this summer before joining Eastbourne in August. He is now 21 years old and can also play as a holding midfielder. Having played for Southampton I'm sure if he works hard he may well get the chance to play for a football league side in the future.
The Sports have played nine league games so far this season winning four, drawing two and losing three. They have scored twelve times and let in twelve goals in those games. They won their first three home games versus Chelmsford City (2-0), Weston-Super-Mare (3-1) and St Albans City (1-0) before losing to Hemel Hempstead (0-2) on Saturday 13th September. Away from Priory Lane they have drawn on the opening day of the season with Wealdstone (1-1), won at Concord Rangers (1-3), drawn 0-0 with Maidenhead United and lost to current table topper's Boreham Wood (5-2) and last Saturday at Bath City (2-0). They are currently without a win in four games. The average crowd at Priory Lane has been 558 over their four league games played.
Top scorers so far are Richard Pacquette and Gavin McCallum who have both scored four goals each. One of McCallum's goals was a stunning 35 yard effort in the 1-3 away win at Concord Rangers.
Priory Lane is on the outskirts of Town in the Langley area of Eastbourne. The ground has parking for around 400 vehicles and the post-code is BN237QH. The capacity is 4,151.
Entrance prices are £12 for adult with concessions at £8. Children under 16 are priced at £1 (Eastbourne's website doesn't state if they have to be accompanied by a paying adult for this price).
If you are going via train the main station in Eastbourne is a little bit of trek (over 3 miles) but there are other options in Hampden Park which is a little closer (2 miles) and Pevensey and Westham (1 mile). To get to Pevensey and Westham you have to change at Hampden Park. Probably your best bet is to go to Eastbourne or HP and either get a cab or (don't quote me on it!!) hop on a 'THE LOOP' bus which comes every 15 minutes and looks like it stops near to the ground.
Eastbourne is served by direct trains from London Victoria every half an hour on Saturday. For example the 11:47 will get you into Eastbourne at 13:13 - there are other trains available via a quick stop/change at Brighton.
Enfield Town are also running travel options to the game so check out enfieldtownfootballclub.co.uk for more details.
One of the sights to see in Eastbourne is the famous pier which was partly destroyed by fire earlier in the year. The good news is some sections of the pier re-open this weekend including shops. a cafe, fishing platforms and the nightclub. The picturesque Beachy Head is just out of town as well which could be worth seeing if you arrive early enough.
There are numerous pubs in town including a Weatherspoons called 'The Cornfield Garage' which is very close to the station. According to tripadvisor the best pub in town is The Crown and Anchor located on Marine Parade.
There is also an area named 'Little Chelsea' close to the railway station on Grove Road and South Street which includes many bars and cafes that may be worth a visit.
Eastbourne Town's ground (The Saffrons) is a stone's throw form the main station with Eastbourne United's ground (The Oval) close to the beach and sea-front and Royal Parade on Channel View Road. Town don't have a game scheduled and United are away at Littlehampton Town so the big cup match is the place to be on Saturday. Although Eastbourne United Reserves are at home against Haywards Heath Reserves. Tonight (Wednesday 24th September) see's the big Eastbourne reserve derby at United host Town at The Oval. There are also Eastbourne Rangers and Eastbourne Athletic football teams who play lower down the pyramid in the East Sussex Football League.
Eastbourne Borough are best priced at 1/2 for a victory with Enfield Town the outsiders at 4/1 with a draw rated at 16/5.